Quotations – The end of the war

These World War I quotations about the end of the war have been compiled by Alpha History authors. They feature statements from contemporary figures, political leaders, military commanders, service personnel, anti-war campaigners and historians of World War I. We will update this page with new quotes from time to time. If you would like to suggest a quotation, please contact us.

“[Vladimir] Lenin was sent into Russia by the Germans in the same way one might send a phial containing a culture of typhoid or cholera to be poured into the water supply of a great city, and it worked with amazing accuracy.”
Winston Churchill on Lenin’s return to Russia in April 1917

“Once lead [the American] people into war and they will forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance.”
Woodrow Wilson, US president, April 1917

“With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end.”
General Sir Douglas Haig, British commander, April 1918

“No compromise on the main purpose. No peace till victory. No pact with unrepentant wrong. That is the Declaration of July 4th 1918.
Winston Churchill, July 1918

“The Germans have made themselves pariahs among the nations, incapable of winning allies, helots [slaves] in the service of foreigners and foreign capital, deprived of all self-respect. In 20 years’ time the German people will curse the parties who now boast of having made the revolution.”
Erich Ludendorff, German general, on the German Revolution of November 1918

“At eleven o’clock this morning came to an end the cruellest and most terrible War that has ever scourged mankind. I hope we may say that thus, this fateful morning, came to an end all wars.”
David Lloyd George, British prime minister, November 11th 1918

“Yesterday I visited the battlefield of last year. The place was scarcely recognisable. Instead of a wilderness of ground torn up by shell, the ground was a garden of wild flowers and tall grasses. Most remarkable of all was the appearance of many thousands of white butterflies which fluttered around. It was as if the souls of the dead soldiers had come to haunt the spot where so many fell. It was eerie to see them. And the silence! It was so still that I could almost hear the beat of the butterflies’ wings.”
Unnamed British officer, 1919

“The First World War killed fewer victims than the Second World War, destroyed fewer buildings, and uprooted millions instead of tens of millions – but in many ways it left even deeper scars both on the mind and on the map of Europe. The old world never recovered from the shock.”
Edmund Taylor, historian

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